Basic Contract Law for Paralegals, Fifth Edition / Edition 5

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The newly revised edition of the best-selling text; Basic Contract Law for Paralegals gives students a firm foundation in the basics of contract law. This comprehensive and straightforward text speaks clearly to students, engaging them with lively examples which help to bring theory to life.

Instructors choose Basic Contract Law for Paralegals for it’s:

quick, simple, and straightforward introduction to all of the basics of contracts law, specifically designed for paralegal students

comprehensive coverage of all the key topics including a chapter on drafting simple contracts

clearly written text and lively examples that help students understand the law

well-crafted pedagogy, including chapter overviews, highlighted examples, key terms, review questions, sample clauses for analysis, edited cases, chapter summaries, and end-of-chapter exercises

manageable length which makes it ideal for shorter courses

Exciting changes to the Fifth Edition include:

new cases keep the book fresh in its Fifth Edition

additional new cases in the supplemental cases appendix

appendix with updated sample contracts, and additional samples provided in the Instructor’s Manual

For instructors in search of a basic, straightforward book on the key concepts in contract law, Basic Contract Law for Paralegals, Fifth Edition is just what they are looking for. Its student-friendly design and manageable length makes this text appealing to professors and students alike.

An author website to support classroom instruction using this title is available at

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780735567351
  • Publisher: Wolters Kluwer Law & Business
  • Publication date: 5/10/2007
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 5
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 0.97 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 7.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xxi
Introduction xxiii
Chapter 1 Overview of Contracts 1
Contract Defined 2
Basic Contract Requirements 2
Offer 2
Acceptance 3
Consideration 3
Legality of Subject Matter 4
Contractual Capacity 4
Contractual Intent 5
Classification of Contracts 6
Type of Obligation: Bilateral or Unilateral 6
Method of Creation: Express, Implied, or Quasi-Contracts 7
Type of Form: Formal and Informal Contracts 9
Timing: Executory and Executed Contracts 10
Enforceability: Valid, Void, Voidable, and Unenforceable 11
Cases for Analysis 17
Villareal v. Art Institute of Houston, Inc. 17
Questions 22
Magill v. Nelbro Packing Co. 23
Questions 26
Suggested Case References 27
Chapter 2 Offer 29
Offer Defined 30
Present Contractual Intent 31
Communication to the Offeree 31
Certainty and Definiteness in the Terms of the Offer 33
Essential Terms of an Offer 33
Price 34
Subject Matter 35
Parties 38
Time of Performance 39
Two Related Concepts 40
Cases for Analysis 44
G.B. "Boots" Smith Corp. v. Cobb 44
Questions 47
Phil Watkins, P.C. v. The Krist Law Firm, P.C. 47
Questions 52
Suggested Case References 52
Chapter 3 Acceptance 55
Acceptance Defined 56
Varying the Terms of the Offer 56
Silence as Acceptance 58
Who May Accept 59
Method of Acceptance 60
Acceptance of a Bilateral Contract 60
Mailbox Rule 61
Rejection of a Bilateral Contract 62
Rejection and the Mailbox Rule 62
Acceptance of a Unilateral Contract 63
Termination of the Ability to Accept 64
Revocation of Bilateral Contracts 65
Revocation of Unilateral Contracts 66
Termination by Operation of Law 67
Effect of Termination of Offer 68
Cases for Analysis 71
Speedy Ketcherside v. McLane 71
Questions 75
Cook's Pest Control, Inc. v. Rebar 75
Questions 82
Suggested Case References 82
Chapter 4 Consideration 83
Consideration Defined 84
Benefit Conferred 85
Detriment Incurred 85
What Is Not Consideration 85
Sufficiency of the Consideration 89
Promissory Estoppel 90
Special Agreements 92
Accord and Satisfaction 92
Charitable Subscription 93
Debtor's Promises 93
Guarantees 94
Formal Contracts 95
Cases for Analysis 99
Kisicki v. Mid-America Financial Investment Corp. 99
Questions 108
Davis v. McCurry 108
Questions 111
Suggested Case References 112
Chapter 5 Legality of Subject Matter and Contractual Capacity 113
Legality of the Subject Matter 114
Malum in Se 114
Malum Prohibitum 115
Contractual Capacity 117
Age 118
Mental Capacity 119
Alcohol and Drugs 119
Cases for Analysis 122
Rawlings v. The John Hancock Mutual Life Ins. Co. 122
Questions 129
Bandal v. Baldwin 130
Questions 132
Suggested Case References 133
Chapter 6 Contractual Intent 135
Contractual Intent Defined 136
Fraud and Misrepresentation 136
Duress 138
Mistake 141
Cases for Analysis 145
Lancaster v. Lancaster 145
Questions 150
LaFournaise v. Montana Developmental Center 150
Questions 153
Suggested Case References 154
Chapter 7 Contract Provisions 155
The Statute of Frauds 156
Contracts for an Interest in Real Estate 157
Contracts in Consideration of Marriage 158
Contracts Not to Be Performed Within One Year 159
Guarantees 160
Contracts for the Sale of Goods 160
Executor's Promise to Pay Decedent's Debts 161
What the Statute of Frauds Is Not 161
Covenants 162
Conditions 162
Conditions Precedent 163
Conditions Subsequent 164
Conditions Concurrent 164
Express Conditions 165
Implied-in-Fact Conditions 165
Implied-in-Law Conditions 166
Court Doctrines: Rules of Construction and the Parol Evidence Rule 166
Cases for Analysis 172
Sagrino v. SCI Connecticut Funeral Services, Inc. 172
Questions 180
The Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago v. Thorpe 180
Questions 187
Suggested Case References 187
Chapter 8 The Uniform Commercial Code 189
General Background 190
Article I General Provisions 191
Basic Guidelines 191
Law of the State Applies 191
Parties May Agree to Vary UCC Provisions 191
UCC Provisions Are to Be Liberally Construed 192
Obligations Imposed by Article I 192
Article II Sales 194
General Background 194
Types of Contracts Covered by Article II 194
Goods 194
Leases 196
Contracts for the Sale of Goods Between Merchants 196
Contractual Provisions 198
Warranties 198
Risk of Loss 200
Remedies 203
Remedies Available to Seller 203
Remedies Available to Buyer 204
Written Assurances 205
Summary 205
Article II-A Leases 206
Article IX Secured Transactions 207
Secured Transaction Defined 207
Requirements to Create a Security Interest 208
Priorities 211
Cases for Analysis 217
In re Hoskins 217
Questions 225
Hergert v. Bank of the West 225
Questions 234
Suggested Case References 235
Chapter 9 Third Party Contracts 237
Third Party Beneficiary Contracts: Generally 238
Third Party Creditor Beneficiary Contracts 240
Third Party Donee Beneficiary Contracts 243
Assignment 246
Creating the Assignment 246
Consent of the Promisor 248
Effect of Assignment 249
Multiple Assignees 251
Delegation 252
Cases for Analysis 257
Kinback Corp. v. Quaker Construction Management, Inc. 257
Questions 262
Imperial Hotels Corp. v. Dore 262
Questions 271
Suggested Case References 271
Chapter 10 Discharge of Obligations 273
Methods of Discharge 274
Excuse of Conditions 274
Performance 278
Breach of Contract 279
Agreement of the Parties 281
Impossibility of Performance 283
Supervening Illegality 284
Death of the Parties or Destruction of the Subject Matter 284
Frustration of Purpose 285
Cases for Analysis 289
OWBR LLC, d/b/a Outrigger Wailea Resort v. Clear Channel Communications, Inc. 289
Questions 298
Werner v. Ashcraft Bloomquist, Inc. 298
Questions 301
Suggested Case References 301
Chapter 11 Remedies 303
Legal Remedies 304
Compensatory Damages 304
Punitive Damages 306
Consequential Damages 306
Liquidated Damages 307
Equitable Remedies 309
Injunction 310
Specific Performance 310
Rescission and Restitution 311
Reformation 312
Quasi-contractual Remedies 312
Quantum Meruit 312
Quantum Valebant 313
Waivers and Their Effect 313
Arbitration Provisions 314
Cases for Analysis 318
Morabito v. Harris 318
Questions 322
State Farm Mut. Automobile Ins. Co. v. Kastner 322
Questions 333
Suggested Case References 333
Chapter 12 Drafting Simple Contracts 335
Checklist of Clauses 336
Description of the Parties 337
Description of the Consideration 337
Security Agreement 340
Warranties 340
Title 341
Risk of Loss 341
Waivers 342
Assignments 342
Delegation 343
Terminology 343
Special Provisions and Clauses 343
Covenant Not to Compete 344
Duties 344
Pronouns 344
Severability 344
Successors 344
Time of the Essence 344
Trade Secrets 344
Work Product 344
Duration and Termination 345
Notice of Default 345
Remedies 346
Choice of Law 346
Arbitration 347
Submission to Jurisdiction 347
Signatures 347
Cases for Analysis 350
Walsh v. Nelson 350
Questions 355
American Express Travel Related Services, Inc. v. Weppler 356
Questions 357
Appendix A Sample Contracts 359
Antenuptial Agreement (Simple Form) 360
Consulting Agreement 361
Employment Contract (Simple Form) 363
Employment Contract 365
Equipment Lease Agreement 370
General Partnership Agreement (Simple Form) 375
Limited Partnership Agreement 377
Real Estate Lease 396
Retainer Agreement 397
Shareholders Agreement 404
Subscription Agreement (Limited Partnership) 412
Work for Hire Agreement 416
Appendix B Supplemental Cases 419
Don King Productions, Inc. v. Douglas 419
Matter of Baby M 424
Hong v. Marriott Corp. 435
In re Peregrine Entertainment, Ltd. 439
Glossary 449
Index 457
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